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Grease is the word around College

The word is out – rock’n’roll, slicked-back hair, and leather jackets will be making a comeback next week when Wairarapa College presents its production of ‘Grease [Schools Edition]’.

It’s the first time since 2020 that the college has staged what was previously its annual stage production, with the show not going in during the intervening years due to covid-19 disruptions.

Head of drama Alix Bushnell and head of music and creative arts Maggie Fauvel have been working tirelessly on the show since last year, when planning officially kicked off with Bushnell applying for the production rights.

‘Grease’ was chosen as this year’s production because it’s upbeat, positive, fun and – most importantly – something the public would love to see, Bushnell told the Times-Age.

“You also want to be choosing stuff that’s going to play to the strengths of the kids that you have in front of you,” she said.

“We’ve got amazing kids who are really amazing on the bass, guitar, drums, keyboard, piano, who are so strong in playing rock’n’roll music. As opposed to another musical, say, a more classical one – we don’t have kids who can play the bassoon or violin.”

Danny [Cody Laing-Bayley] and Cha-Cha [Ayla Wright] at the prom.

The school hasn’t performed ‘Grease’ for just over 10 years and with the death of Olivia Newton-John last August, Bushnell was eager to bring it back.

Bushnell started sourcing costumes from Facebook Marketplace last year and said many costumes have been generously donated and loaned by members of the community.

Students have been rehearsing for 10 hours per week, and by the time they step on stage for the first time on August 2, they will have been practising for 13 weeks.

“We’ll have 55 kids on stage and 12 backstage being crew, and about 15 playing in the band,” Bushnell said.

“We’ve got a girl who is a T Bird because I don’t believe in ‘T Birds have to be boys’; it’s just a person. We’ve got some gender diversity in our casting.”

  • The production opens on Wednesday August 2 at 6:30 pm, with performances on Thursday August 3 and Friday August 4 at 6.30pm, and Saturday August 5 at 12.30pm and 6.30pm.
  • Tickets are available from Eventfinda.

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